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  • Writer's pictureDave Cottenie

TD Place Arena - Ottawa 67's

Photos by Dave Cottenie, Stadium Journey

Stadium Info FANFARE Score: 4.14

TD Place Arena 1015 Bank St Ottawa, ON K1S 3W7

Year Opened: 1967

Capacity: 9,862

The Barber Shop

There are plenty of uniforms from bygone eras that are so gaudy that it boggles the mind that they ever did the job. The “barber pole” version of multi striped uniforms definitely fall into this category. However, one team that has stuck with the barber pole is the Ottawa 67’s … and it works. The red, black and white stripes of the 67’s jerseys have been a staple for the team since their inception in 1967. One of the cornerstone franchises of the Ontario Hockey League, the 67’s derive their name from not only their inception, but to the founding of Canada as an independent country in 1867. The 67’s are one of the most successful franchises in the league, both on and off the ice, are owned by the Ottawa Sports & Entertainment Group, who also claim the CFL’s Ottawa RedBlacks as part of their portfolio.

Home for the 67’s is also one of the most unique in the OHL. TD Place Arena or sometimes The Arena at TD Place, was originally the Ottawa Civic Centre and original home for the expansion Ottawa Senators of the NHL. TD Place Arena is nestled neatly under the south grandstand at TD Place.

Food & Beverage 4

The concession options at TD Place are what a fan would expect for an OHL venue, with a few interesting items. All of the favourites can be found, including hot dogs, fries, popcorn and pretzels. Pizza can be purchased from local Ottawa favourite Gabriel Pizza. Gabriel offers an original 67s Pizza to go along with pepperoni and cheese options. Poutine and pulled pork and pineapple sandwiches add to the variety of options. There is a fairly significant beer selection available including Stella Artois, Mill Street Organic, Broadhead and Corona to go along with Budweiser and Bud Light. Twisted Tea, Bud Light Seltzer and Brickworks 1904 Cider are also available. Hitting the Lois ‘n Frima’s Ice Cream for some homemade ice cream, donuts, churros or a Slush Puppie would be the spot to go.

Atmosphere 4

TD Place Arena is located at Lansdowne Park and is one of the most unique arenas in the OHL. The arena is located underneath the north grandstand of TD Place, the home of the Ottawa RedBlacks of the CFL. Entry to the arena is on the north side of the building at the east or west entrances. The massive, spider-legs-like I-beams give the arena a unique exterior look. Between the two main entrances, Lansdowne Park has a number of retail outlets, so the arena itself is actually kind of inconspicuous.

Upon entering the arena, fans are welcomed to a huge concourse on the north side. The northern wall features a massive mural honouring Hockey Hall of Fame Coach, Brian Kilrea, who spent the bulk of his career coaching the Ottawa 67’s. Following his career and honours is a pathway through the history of the Ottawa 67’s franchise. There is plenty to look at and go through along the way. Heading over to the north side of the arena brings fans to a totally different area, with low ceilings and hockey motif. Make sure to check out the football stadium through the glass doors on the north side to get a better sense of the full stadium/arena complex. The southeast corner is The 67’s Barber Shop group seating area which looks like a great place to bring a group to the game.

Entering the seating bowl, fans are welcomed with a very different structure. The north side, which is the side to be on for fans wanting that picture perfect centre-ice logo pic, has the majority of seats with two main levels. The east and west sides are similar, but the south side just has a few rows of seats under a low ceiling. Rather than hanging anything over the ice surface, the TD Place Arena utilizes the bulkhead above the south side seats. The main videoboard is centering banners and two other smaller videoboards. The score and time are kept on traditional scoreclocks between the main videoboard and the two smaller boards. On either side of the videoboard are the two Memorial Cup banners the 67’s have earned, from 1984 and 1999. The retired number banners of Peter Lee, Bobby Smith, Brian Campbell, Denis Potvin and Doug Wilson hang with a Brian Kilrea on the right side of the videoboard and the three OHL Champions banners, from 1977, 1984 and 2001 hang to the left.

The gameday production is about what one would expect from an OHL experience. Popular music and classic rock are played throughout the game. The 67’s mascot, Riley, can be found throughout the arena interacting with fans. A unique feature for the 67’s is the giant wind-sock character, like those found at car dealerships, is blown up in the east end as the celebration continues.

Neighbourhood 5

TD Place Arena is at Lansdowne Park which is located in a neat neighbourhood in Ottawa called The Glebe. With the building of TD Place, Lansdowne Park has seen significant development and there are a plethora of food and drink options in the immediate area. The Rowan, Irene’s Pub, Mr. Puffs, Joey Lansdowne, Local Public Eatery, Craft Beer Market, Crust & Crate, Milestones and Jack Astors are all within a two minute walk of the arena.

For fans wishing for more sports, the Ottawa RedBlacks play at TD Place Stadium, right above the arena. The NHL’s Ottawa Senators play out in Kanata at Canadian Tire Centre. The summer months have Frontier League Baseball at RCGT Park with the Ottawa Titans. The University of Ottawa Gee-Gees play football at Gee-Gees Stadium, hockey at Minto Sports Complex and basketball at The Court at Montpetit Hall. The Carleton Ravens play football at MNP Park, hockey at Carleton Ice House and the 15 time National Champion basketball team plays at the Ravens’ Nest. For a possible doubleheader, fans may want to consider crossing the river into Gatienau, Quebec to check out the Gatineau Olympiques of the QMJHL at Centre Slush Puppie.

Outside of sports, Ottawa boasts one of the premier tourist destinations in Canada. Being the capital city, the Parliament buildings are high on the list of places to see. There are a ton of museums to check out while in Ottawa including the Canadian Museum of Nature, Canadian War Museum, Canada Aviation and Space Museum and the Royal Canadian Mint are the tip of the iceberg. The Rideau Canal is also just south of Lansdowne Park and skating on the canal may be the quintessential Ottawa winter activity.

For fans wishing to stay in The Glebe to be near Lansdowne Park, will have to go north to the Rideau Inn or to some of the multiple Centretown hotels that are available.

Fans 4

Traditionally, the Ottawa 67’s have enjoyed some of the strongest support in the entire Ontario Hockey League. However, the major renovations that were required at TD Place which displaced the 67’s to Kanata to the Canadian Tire Centre, significantly hurt the 67’s at the turnstile. The team has worked hard to slowly build the fanbase back up to where it once was. The Covid impacted 2021-2022 season has seen falling attendance across the board, including in Ottawa. Previously, the 67’s enjoyed averaging 4,000 fans per game, which kept them in the top third of the league for attendance. Fans are smart, yet fairly quiet, as most Ottawa fans are.

Access 4

Traversing Ottawa is not the easiest proposition. Lansdowne Park is located south of Highway 417-Trans Canada Highway, the main route in and through Ottawa. A drive along the canal on Queen Elizabeth Driveway to the Park will be required. On the positive side, the City of Ottawa has done a wonderful job routing traffic into both entry points of Lansdowne Park effectively and what could be a difficult trek to the game is not as bad as one would expect. There is underground parking on site for a price and it can be pre purchased. This is definitely advisable as there is little parking available in the residential Glebe area. Parking at Carleton University and taking the free shuttle to the game may also be of interest to fans wishing to keep the car out of The Glebe. Ottawa has a strong transit system and there is a bus stop on Bank Street that is across from Lansdowne Park. Fans should check out the OC Transpo website for fares, maps and schedules.

TD Place Arena boasts some of the widest concourses anywhere and getting around the arena is not difficult at all. There are plenty of washroom facilities for the size of the crowd that the 67’s draw.

Return on Investment 5

Ontario Hockey League hockey remains one of the best investments possible for the sporting dollar. Tickets for the 67’s begin at $25 for adults and go up to $39. The south side of the arena is General Admission, and probably not the best spot to be considering fans will not be able to see the videoboard which is on the bulkhead above. There are also discounts for children and seniors and a variety of ticket package options. Concession prices at TD Place Arena are what one would expect and parking does have a cost at Lansdowne Park, but not at Carleton if the free shuttle is taken. The return is the opportunity to see one of the cornerstone OHL franchises, which consistently recruits a top product on the ice, in one of the most unique venues in sport. Compared to what one would pay to see the crosstown Ottawa Senators, the 67’s are a deal.

Extras 3

An extra mark for the 67’s continuing to rock the barber pole uniforms for over 40 years. The 67’s are even referred to as the Barber Poles at times.

An extra mark for the amazing revitalization of Lansdowne Park.

An extra mark for one of the most unique uses of space having TD Place Arena situated under the north stands of the football stadium.

Final Thoughts

Catching an Ottawa 67’s game can be part of an amazing weekend or vacation in one of the most tourist-friendly cities in North America. There are a ton of things to do in Ottawa and a 67’s game can fit right in there. When in Canada’s Capital Region, make sure to head to The Glebe, Lansdowne Park and TD Place Arena to catch the Barber Poles in action. It won’t be a disappointment.

Follow all of Dave’s sporting adventures on Twitter @profan9 and on Instagram.

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